Lord Nelson is coming!
By Colin Thompson
A tall ship bearing the name of one of Britain's greatest naval commanders and crewed by both disabled and able-bodied sailors is set to visit Bermuda's shores next spring.
Lord Nelson, one of only two tall ships in the world designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side-by-side as equals, will be arriving in Bermuda on March 5.
The ship was designed and built for the Jubilee Sailing Trust. She combines a traditional square-rig with special features that make it possible for physically disabled people, including wheelchair users, to take a full and active role in crewing the ship. The special facilities on-board ensure that everybody has the opportunity to participate in all aspects of tall ship sailing.
Among the unique features are:
•Wheelchair lifts between decks
•Integrated Braille instructions
•A joy stick for people who want to steer the ship but cannot hold a wheel
•An audio compass for those who want to steer but cannot see.
Since the Jubilee Sailing Trust was established in 1978 they have taken over 40,000 people sailing. Of these, approximately 15,000 people were disabled and 5,000 were wheelchair users.
Lord Nelson is no stranger to Bermuda's waters. Last July the tall ship called in to Pennos Wharf in St George's as part of her Sail the World challenge which saw her travel 51,000 nautical miles, crossing the equator six times and calling in to over 100 ports, all the while being crewed by over 1000 people — both able bodied and physically disabled.
After spending the winter sailing around the Caribbean, Lord Nelson will depart Bahamas for Bermuda on February 21.
Berths are still available for both able-bodied and physically disabled people starting from age 16 for the ship's voyage to Bermuda and her trip from Bermuda back to her home port in Southampton, England, via the Azores.
The ship is due to set sail from Bermuda on March 11 and arrive in Southampton, England on April 11.
No sailing experience is necessary as the permanent crew will give all the training and guidance needed to get the most out of the voyage, whether that is showing a crew member how to climb the rigging, steer the ship or haul on a rope to help set the sails.
For further details, call Jubilee Sailing Trust at +44 (0) 23 8042 6855.